Due to lack of dissemination of information, the country people do not know the welfare services and real activities which are rendered by the Wage Earners Welfare Board of Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment ministry.
Not only common people but also the senior officials of the EWOE ministry, district and upazila level government officials are mostly unaware of the migrants’ welfare services.
Senior officials of the EWOE ministry admitted the truth while speaking at Focus Discussion on ‘Strengthening Services for Bangladeshi Migrant Workers by Wage Earners Welfare Board’ at Probashi Kalyan Bhaban on Tuesday.
Migrants’ rights activists and officials concerned unanimously stressed the need for expediting massive campaigns and publicities of the welfare services of the welfare board to bring more migrants and family members under coverage of the government services.
EWOE ministry’s secretary Nomita Halder who was speaking as chief guest said when she had recently gone to distribute cheques of financial assistances among the deceased migrants at Kishoreganj, Nilphamari, she found that local administration became astonished to know so many services of the ministry and other departments.
She said that despite giving written directions by DO letters all of the district administrations, they were not fully aware of the welfare services.
The government decided to send abroad more workers from the districts which lag behind in terms of overseas job opportunities, she said, adding that awareness must be created for implementation of the government’s agenda.
EWOE ministry's additional secretary Munerus Salaheen also said that before his joining few months ago, he did not know the massive works of the ministry.
He stressed on launching massive awareness to make the people aware of the services provided by the ministry.
ILO National Program Officer Rahnuma Salam Khan said that she had also found a district administration unaware of the welfare services of wage earners welfare board.
WARBE Development Foundation chairman Syed Saiful Haque said that all stakeholders would have to work together to take the sector ahead and ensure the rights of the migrant workers at home and abroad.
BRAC migration programme head Shariful Islam said that the government must have correct information of how many workers working abroad and how many returning to ensure welfare services to them.
Holy Family Red Crescent Hospital physician Ahosan Habib said that primary healthcare knowledge should be given the migrant workers before sending them abroad to enable them protect from various Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
Returnee and aspirant migrants, as well as the representatives from government, non government organizations and media houses took part in the discussion, moderated by Dhaka University assistant professor of Social Welfare and Research Tawohidul Haque.